Nazi Garden Gnomes in Nuremberg Art Gallery Prompt Investigation
Update: July 22, 2009
The Nazi garden gnomes have been ruled not illegal:
After a preliminary inquiry over the past week, prosecutors in the Bavarian city ruled that the 40-centimetre gnome is ridiculing the Nazis rather than promoting a return of the Third Reich.
"It is pretty clear that garden gnomes are silly and that they do silly things. In 1942 I would have been shot by the Nazis for this," prosecutors quoted the gnome's creator, artist Ottmar Hoerl, as saying.
Hundreds of Nazi garden gnomes in a Nuremberg art gallery has prompted an investigation into whether the little statues with their arms raised in what appears to be a Hitler Nazi salute, could be breaking the law.
German-born artist Ottmar Hoerl, the president of the Academy for Fine Arts in Nuremberg is the one who produced the statues.
Since the Second World War, any symbols or saltues relating to the Nazi party and Hitler have been illegal, but the figure could be found to be ridiculing the Third Reich and declared legal.
Wolfgang Traeg, a spokesman for the public prosecutors office, said: "The investigation is ongoing and people are being interviewed.
"It is also a question of art a bit," he said. "It will also depend on what the artist and the owners of the gallery have to say for themselves about the whole thing."